The 2020 holiday sales numbers are in and no surprise due to Covid-19 as well as market trends, e-commerce is booming! Online purchases over the 2020 holidays grew over 32 percent from 2019, totaling a record $188 billion as people shopped from the comfort of their homes, as per a report from Adobe Analytics.
Key findings from the Adobe Analytics report:
- Every day, including Christmas Eve, exceeded $1 billion. With Cyber Monday exceeding $10 billion, the average day eclipsed $3B for the first time.
- Early and late sales reduced the impact of Cyber 5 (Thanksgiving thru Cyber Monday), which saw a growth of just 21 percent compared to the 32 percent for the overall season.
- November, which included Cyber Monday, reached the $100 billion level, the first time a single month has hit those highs.
- Christmas Day, typically the biggest mobile shopping day, saw 52 percent of the revenue coming from smartphones, surpassing the halfway point for the first time.
Drivers of revenue boost varied:
- More visitors and better conversion drove the lift in sales. Average order value remained flat.
- Home improvement and consumer electronics retailers saw strong growth whereas apparel and jewelry exhibited lower growth.
- Cities with higher household incomes and /or better educated population grew more than
- those at the other end of the spectrum.
Minimal contact shopping:
- Ordering online for local pickup continued its growth over last year, peaking two days before Christmas.
- Given the over 1 billion orders generated it was a bit more expensive when it was not free, minimum threshold went up as did costs.
Small vs Large:
- Small retailers ($10 – $50 million) had seen a larger boost (March 15-September 30) in sales during the beginning of Covid-19 but that advantage disappeared during the holiday season as the large (over $1 billion) retailers concentrated their dominance of the holiday shopping season.
- However, the boost difference for the holiday season this year (daily sales November-December vs. October) at 110 percent for large retailers vs. 104 percent for small, was much closer than it was last year, at 107 percent for large and 84 percent for small.
- The boost difference for Cyber 5 days remains most pronounced on Thanksgiving, with large retailers having 50 percent more of a boost (daily sales November-December vs. average day in October) on that day than small retailers, indicating their focus on leveraging Thanksgiving as a shopping day with deals.
- Small businesses had a slight boost advantage on both Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. The boost difference decreased by 6 percentage points from 2018 to 2019, and there is now a 21-point advantage.
Along with the e-commerce boom comes the air cargo boom as logistics companies such as Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and DHL are spending a fortune to increase freight capacity at airports around the country in order to meet the surging demand. “There is a lot of consumer behavior that permanently changed in 2020. We’re seeing levels of cargo today that were expected in 2028,” said Mark A. Thorpe, CEO of Ontario International Airport in Southern California.
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